CONNECTIONS NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE


By Cary Hamilton LMHC-S, RPT-S, NCC, CMHS, CDWF


October 14

October is ADHD Awareness Month


Could it be ADHD?

Let’s start with some quick facts about ADHD:

  • ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, as defined by the American Psychological Association

  • ADHD can be diagnosed in children 6+ and adults

  • There are 3 types of ADHD

  • ADHD symptoms need to be present in more than one area of life

  • ADHD is often an underlying factor for anxiety, depression, oppositional behavior, and relationship challenges

  • ADHD is life-long. Symptoms can be managed, however, there is no “treatment” for ADHD.

Read More Here!

Clinic Update COVID19

Opening & closing the Clinic is what we are avoiding. We will remain on Telehealth till January.


There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community.

However, at Olympia Therapy, there is an option that may allow you to be seen sooner!


***** If you are already required to pay a co-pay of $30-$40 per session, you can opt-out of going through insurance and simply choose to Self-Pay at $50 per session with one of our

Liscenced Clinical Associates.

Particularly for children ages 5-17, this option could significantly decrease your wait time!

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


~Know our Licensed Clinical Associates!~



Helpful Reads & Links




Playful Wisdom Parenting

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall.

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course,

please click here.

If there are topics that you are intersted in learning about. Send us a note. Get 10% off if we choose your topic!



October 9

October is Sensory Processing Awareness Month


The Functional Four: Sensory Secrets and the Senses You Didn't Know You Had.

Our sensory systems are complicated and no one's the same! We have a total of 8 senses (not 5) that work together to support their integration and to ensure our survival in this world. Some have more protective factors while others enhance each other. Our goal is to help you know each sense in more depth so that you may see behaviors as a result of sensory dysfunctions and “neuron traffic jams” versus conscious choices of children. Check out this week's blog where we break down the Functional FOUR here.



Clinic During COVID19

Opening & closing the Clinic is what we are avoiding. For now, we will remain on Telehealth.

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community.

However, at Olympia Therapy, there is an option that may allow you to be seen sooner!

***** If you are already required to pay a co-pay of $30-$40 per session, you can opt out of going through insurance and simply choose to Self-Pay at $50 per session with one of our Licenced Clinical Associates. Particularly for children ages 5-17, this option could significantly decrease your wait time!

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


~Meet our Licensed Clinical Associates!~

Ruymán (Rudy) Hernández, MA, LMHCA

Ruymán Hernández is an energetic, engaging therapist who focuses on teens and families. Bicultural and bilingual, he uses elements of play therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in his practice.







Suzanne (Suzie) Black, MA, LMHCA

Suzie is a compassionate therapist who's passion is for the next generation. She has had the privilege of working with school-aged children for the last six years. Suzie views therapy as a vital component of our daily healing processes. She greatly enjoys working alongside children in their journey. Suzie appreciates the uniqueness in every individual and tailors her therapy to each need. She does this by utilizing elements of Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therpy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Psychoeducation, in order to best help children and parents gain empowerment and healing.


Amber Parker, MA.MFT, LMFTA

Amber is a creative, expressive, and inspired therapist who believes it is an honor and privilege to support adults and children in their healing process. She has been working in trauma-focused professions for over 15 years; she believes it is her life's work to guide others on the path to self understanding, self acceptance, and self love. Amber incorports a wide array of concepts and methods into her therapeutic work, including drama therapy, internal family systems, play therapy, somatic therapy, and jungian psychology.




Lisa Brawn, MA.MFT, LMFT

Sometimes we just need someone to talk to; sometimes we need specialized care. Lisa offers unique services that combine standard treatment options with creative interventions - Play Therapy, AUTPlay, and SandTray, etc. Treatment is always tailored to your individual and personal needs.

Lisa works with children aged 3+, teens, adults, & couples/families. Commonly sought services include: mood disorders, trauma, ADHD, domestic violence, communication, self-harm behaviors, divorce, family issues, aging, life transitions, parenting, and reunification.

LGBTQ+, Geek, & Freak Friendly.


(Lisa is in the in-between, she will be able to accept insurance by the new year.)



Playful Wisdom Parenting

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall.

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course,

please click here.


If there are topics that you are intersted in learning about. Send us a note. Get 10% off if we choose your topic!




Helpful Reads & Links



September 30


Clinic During COVID19

Opening & closing the Clinic is what we are avoiding. For now, we will remain on Telehealth.

With the new school schedule, please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.


There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community.

However, at Olympia Therapy, there is an option that may allow you to be seen sooner!


If you are already required to pay a co-pay of $30-$40 per session, you can opt out of going through insurance and simply choose to Self-Pay at $50 per session with one of our Licenced Clinical Associates. Particularly for children ages 5-17, this option could significantly decrease your wait time!


We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


~Book Recommendations!~


I Just Don't Like the Sound of NO!

(How About Maybe?)

This book is about a boy named RJ who just doesn't like being told no. Between his mom, his teacher, and his friends, he does not seem to be getting his way. This is a great book that walks through accepting no as an answer and how to disagree the right way.







Lying Up a Storm

Whether it's "itty bitty" or a "great, big whooper", a lie is a lie and these lies add up. In this book, Levi learns how one lie can lead to more, causing a storm inside of us. If your child is struggling to tell the truth this book is a great tool for teaching them about the consequences of lying and the benefit of telling the truth.




Baditude:

What to Do When Your Life STINKS!

This book is about a boy called Noodle who is having a bad attitude. This book talks about how a bad attitude can get in the way from us having a good day. But, if we can change our baditude into gratitude and our "have tos" into "get tos" then we can turn our day around.







The Worst Day of My Life EVER!

RJ is having one of the worst days EVER. Nothing seems to be going right, but could there be a reason why? This book talks about the importance of listening and following instructions and gives children step-by-step instructions of how to properly do so. RJ learns that when he listens and follows instructions the outcome of his day is much more positive.





Playful Wisdom Parenting

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall.

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course,

please click here.


If there are topics that you are intersted in learning about. Send us a note. Get 10% off if we choose your topic!







Helpful Reads & Links


September 24

It’s Time to Separate Your Siblings!

We’re all at that point. . . mid-pandemic, in a world of social injustice and unrest. The weather is changing, distance learning has started, and the entire west-coast is either on fire or smoke-filled. Our nervous systems have been in a state of increasing dysregulation for over six months now and to top it off, our kids have been cooped up all summer long. If you are parenting siblings, a few months ago you were grateful that they had each other to play with. Yet, now they are anxious, fighting, and arguing over everything.

So how do we create space for siblings?




~Check out this week's blog on Separating Your Siblings!~



Clinic During COVID19

Opening & closing the Clinic is what we are avoiding. For now, we will remain on Telehealth.


With the new school schedule, please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.



Playful Wisdom Parenting

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall.

If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course,

please click here.

If there are topics that you are intersted in learning about. Send us a note. Get 10% off if we choose your topic!



~Book Recommendations!~


When You Are Brave

This book is about the bravery that can be found inside each of us. We all experience circumstances that push us to our limits. This book encourages us to find that light of courage inside of us no matter what we face, because the more that we use it, the easier it is to use again.

"Some days, when everything around you seems scary, you have to be brave."





I Am Love:

A Book of Compassion

This is a book all about the transformative power of love. The book demonstrates the many different ways one can show and be love. Whether it's through compassion, gentleness, comfort, self-care, understanding, etc. This is a great read for children, showing that with the power of love, we can weather any storm.





Helpful Reads & Links


September 17


It’s Time for SIX!

"Six is in between two worlds. While Six still has curiosity and wonder, they are quickly approaching a more concrete world. Six may seem oppositional and stubborn, and may frequently change their mind. One minute they want to do something themself and the next they are asking you to complete tasks that they have known how to do for a while, like tie their shoe. This is a normal part of Six’s increased sense of independence."

Read more of this weeks blog about Six here!





Clinic During COVID19

We will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.


Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. With the new school schedule, please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


~Book Recommendation!~


Miracle Melts Down

In this book, things aren't going the way Miracle planned and she is having a meltdown! The Kindergators in her classroom work hard to give Miracle ideas on ways to calm down. With humor and practical tips, this book is a great read for children who are having a hard time knowing how to use positive coping strategies when things don't go as planned.

"Guess what happened at school today!"



Hands Off, Harry!

Hands Off Harry, another book in the Kindergators series, is about a classmate named Harry who is struggling to keep his hands to himself. Harry keeps invading his classmates' personal space, causing messes and chaos all over the classroom. With the help of his teacher and classmates, Harry learns how to give others the space they need and how to use his hands to help instead of hurt.

"I want to show everybody that my space ends here."



Playful Wisdom Parenting

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall.


If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course,

please click here.


If there are topics that you are interested in learning about. Send us a note. Get 10% off if we choose your topic!




Helpful Reads & Links

September 11


September is Suicide Prevention Month

Thoughts of suicide affect individuals all over the world regardless of one's age (even children), gender, race, etc. Thousands of people die each year due to suicidal actions, leaving behind family and friends who will be left to grieve their loss. This may be a sensitive topic for many, but it is a topic that is important to bring awareness to. Here at Olympia Therapy, we want you to know that we care and we are here for you on your journey.

-Cary



Clinic During COVID19

We will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.

Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. With the new school schedule, please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


~Book Recommendation!~


I Am Enough

This is a book all about an African American girl who is learning to love herself for who she is and the importance of showing kindness towards others. The book is written in a rhythmic poem style and utilizes fun similes, making it a fun read for children. With a focus on diversity, self-confidence and the power of loving others, this is a great book especially for girls ages 4+.

You are unique and wonderful just the way you are!



Summer of Connection

Playful Wisdom is complete.

We had a great time providing video shorts to add to your parenting toolbox over the summer. We look forward to having you join us next year.

Stay tuned for our

Playful Wisdom Foundations Course

that will be launching this Fall. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this new course, please click here.



Helpful Reads & Links

August 31


The Olympia Therapy Family

is grieving the loss of a beautiful child of one of our team members.


Thank you for giving us some grace & patience the next couple of weeks as we support our family during this time.

We are still open & practicing, however some rescheduling of appointments may occur as we find ways to support our

team members.

-Cary



Clinic During COVID19

We will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.


Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. With the new school schedule, please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.


There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


Miss The Parenting Back to School Webinar? Link here!


~Book Recommendation!~


My Mixed Emotions:

Help your kids handle their feelings.

This book is one of our favorites! It is all about helping kids identify and manage their big feelings! This book is science-based, teaching children about the parts of their brains, the hormones that contribute to our feelings, the responses our bodies have to big emotions, and what we DO about them! With activities, thoughtful questions, and bright graphics, this is a must-read for any child ages 6+ & even some adults!

Never stop learning-

Always be CURIOUS!



Playful Wisdom Blog: Normal is NOT here yet.


Helpful Reads & Links


August 26


COVID19 RESPONSE FOR FALL


With school districts making the decision to remain online for the fall, we too will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.

Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. With the new school schedules if you feel this will impact your appointments please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.


What you resist, PERSISTS!

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


Awesome Books for being Predictably Flexible!


Don't Be Afraid to Drop!

This is a story about a little raindrop who is afraid of the unknown! They don't know where they will end up when they leave the comforts of their home, and they are willing to take the chance to find out! This is a great book for children facing transitions or a big change.





I'm Stretched!

This story is about being stretched too thin, between school and homework and sports and extra cirricular activites. The pressure to stay on top of everything and still have time for family and friends, is overwhelming! This book has great tips to help children and families take care of themselves and de-stress together.




Bubblegum Brain

This book is about Growth Mindset, which is the understadning that our brains are capable of change. When we put in effort to practice something, we are changing our brains! Bubblegum Brain shows us how to do this, and how to encourage our Brick Brain friends to do this as well.





Technology Tail

This book is about Technology & Safety. Phones, tablets, and computers are fun AND we need to use them safely, especially when it comes to the internet. The technology tail explores all the ways you can bruise or scrape your "tail" by posting rude or innapropriate content online. It also helps children navigate online safety, respect, and kindness in this digital world.




Miss The Parenting Back to School Webinar? Link here!


Playful Wisdom Blog: Normal is NOT here yet.



Helpful Reads & Links


August 20

Normal is NOT here yet.


We are still living within a global pandemic.


This fall, as we face online and/or distant learning, families are panicking. This stress in unavoidable. We can't make it go away or believe it's not there. We can't change our biological response to stress, we can only strive to decrease its impact. Some families feel that because they are able to keep working, pay the bills, and have a roof over their heads, that they are not experiencing this trauma.

TRUTH BOMB: YOU ARE! We are in a global pandemic, this is societal trauma.



Playful Wisdom Parenting Launching! As school districts around Washington State are deciding how the coming year will unfold, parents are facing the reality that, for now at least, remote learning may be here to stay. It’s one more stressor on families already stretched to their limits by COVID-19, the economic shutdown and working from home – if they still have jobs.

Therapist Cary Hamilton knows the experience firsthand. As the owner of Olympia Therapy, not only is she a working parent herself, she works with dozens of children, teens and families throughout the Puget Sound region and hears their accounts of the mental and emotional toll the pandemic is taking. Supporting those families is the purpose behind her new Playful Wisdom Parenting program, which launched August 2020.- READ MORE! on @ThurstonTalk



COVID19 RESPONSE FOR FALL


With school districts making the decision to remain online for the fall, we too will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.

Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. Being consistent and following your providers recommendations is key for your progress in treatment. With the new school schedules if you feel this will impact your appointments please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW.


Therapy only works when you do the work!

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW. Get on our waitlist so we can serve you as soon as there is availability.

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.



Helpful Reads & Links



August 12


COVID19 RESPONSE FOR FALL

With school districts making the decision to remain online for the fall, we too will be

remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.

Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. Being consistent and following your providers recommendations is key for your progress in treatment. With the new school schedules if you feel this will impact your appointments please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW. Therapy only works when you do the work!


There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW. Get on our waitlist so we can serve you as soon as there is availability.

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.



Playful Wisdom Parenting Launching! As school districts around Washington State are deciding how the coming year will unfold, parents are facing the reality that, for now at least, remote learning may be here to stay. It’s one more stressor on families already stretched to their limits by COVID-19, the economic shutdown and working from home – if they still have jobs.


Therapist Cary Hamilton knows the experience firsthand. As the owner of Olympia Therapy, not only is she a working parent herself, she works with dozens of children, teens and families throughout the Puget Sound region and hears their accounts of the mental and emotional toll the pandemic is taking. Supporting those families is the purpose behind her new Playful Wisdom Parenting program, which launched August 2020.- READ MORE! on @ThurstonTalk



Join us in Week 6!

The Summer of Connection program assists parents & caregivers in remembering to

Play, Connect & Empower

themselves over the summer!


Each week receive a short video message on a timely topic to learn, practice, & implement at home to keep the summer days positive relational focused, & Joy filled.


Sign up to receive your

Summer of Connection

in your inbox this week!

-Cary

Play Therapy Heals in the Language of Children



The natural language of the child is play

Children frequently are not able to articulate their stress, worries, or challenges verbally. A human’s brain is not completed growing till ~25. This means we need to be realistic about how our children communicate including knowing the stage of their brain development.

Play to child is like water to a plant- necessary and harmful if they don’t get enough.


Play allows for expression and learning to happen in the lower more developed parts of the brain while engaging the higher level cortex (cognitive part which is still developing). Play integrates the brain as it grows.

Play is the way!

When a child plays, the toys they use are their words, the play is the story.

The story that is being worked out, processed, and incorporated into their developing brains and psyche.



Helpful Reads & Links


August 4


COVID19 RESPONSE FOR FALL

With school districts making the decision to remain online for the fall, we too will be remaining online for the foreseeable future per our County Dept. of Health's recommendation.

Remember engagement in Telehealth services is for your Mental Health. Being consistent and following your providers recommendations is key for your progress in treatment. With the new school schedules if you feel this will impact your appointments please speak to your provider about scheduling NOW. We know Telehealth is awkward at times, and we are seeing great results in those maintaining consistent services & positive treatment outcomes.

Therapy only works when you do the work!

There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW. Get on our waitlist so we can serve you as soon as there is availability.

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.



Join us in Week 5! The Summer of Connection

program assists parents & caregivers in remembering to Play, Connect & Empower themselves over the summer!

Each week receive a short video message on a timely topic to learn, practice, & implement at home to keep the summer days positive relational focused, & Joy filled.

Sign up to receive your Summer of Connection in your inbox this week!

-Cary


Gratitude really does work, here's how.


We are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic.Life is stressful to say the least. It’s uncertain, unstable, and unpredictable. And while there are varying levels of stress that families are feeling depending on their circumstances, most everyone is feeling some type of stress right now. So the question is, what do we do about it?

The answer is Practice Gratitude.

Dr. Brené Brown states "practicing gratitude is how we acknowledge that there's enough & that we're enough." In times of stress, it’s important to focus on what you can control. While many of the events that are taking place right now are things that we do not have control over, we can control our homes, what our family and children are exposed to, and how we respond to current events, mandates, news, and whatever else life throws our way.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” - Brené Brown


Helpful Reads & Links



July 22


Join us in Week 3!

The Summer of Connection

program assists parents & caregivers

in remembering to Play, Connect &

Empower themselves over the summer!

Each week receive a short video message

on a timely topic to learn, practice, &

implement at home to keep the summer

days positive, relational focused, & Joy-filled.

Sign up to receive your

Summer of Connection

in your inbox this week!

-Cary

COVID19 RESPONSE


I have made the decision that the Clinic will remain on Telehealth due to increasednumbers of COVID19 cases being on the rise per our County Dept. of Health. Consistency and predictability are very important right now, attending Telehealth demonstrates commitment to services and treatment. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW, as those on Telehealth will be the first to have in-office sessions. There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community.

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at

info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling &

communication, as well as questions about billing.


Emotional hijacking of our Behaviors: Feeling

like Eeyore these days? We ALL are.


Children’s mental health matters. During this time you may be seeing changes in behaviors and attitudes that are “not your child,” You may be wondering what happened and what to do? Children experience life with their whole body as they learn to integrate their life experiences into learning and memories. As we have now settled into a semi routine during this pandemic, children and adults are still experiencing daily high stressors and small traumas. This over time impacts both parent and child mental health functioning. It is important to know what mental health looks like in children because it is portrayed behaviorally, not verbally like adults would. The behaviors that arise may be not only concerning to you, they may also elicit anger and worry from you, which escalates your reactivity towards your child. Your desire to want to control is high, resulting in a cycle of screaming, crying, meltdown, timeouts, and blowups for everyone involved.


Helpful Reads & Links



July 14


Join us in Week 2!

Summer of Connection program assists

parents & caregivers in remembering to

Play, Connect & Empower themselves over the summer!

Each week receive a short video message

on a timely topic to learn, practice, &

implement at home to keep the summer

days positive relational focused, & Joy filled.


Sign up to receive your

Summer of Connection

in your inbox this week!

-Cary


COVID19 RESPONSE


I have made the decision that the Clinic

will remain on Telehealth due to the

recent holiday and increased activities

that are keeping our community numbers

of COVID19 on the rise per our County Dept.

of Health. Consistency and predictability are very important right now, attending Telehealth demonstrate commitment to services and treatment. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW, as those onTelehealth will be the first to have in-office sessions. There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. Please note, when youdo return to office, you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors.

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at

info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling &

communication, as well as questions about billing.


The Foundational Four: Sensory Secrets and the Senses You Didn't Know You Had.



Know the Foundational Senses:

How to recognize & regulate these

four senses with activities.


We thought it was important to inform others that we have EIGHT senses, not five, and 3 are ones you likely have never heard about! Many of us are taught the FIVE senses in school: Seeing,

Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch. What we are missing are the Foundational senses of: Vestibular, Proprioceptive, and Interoceptive. These THREE are of particular import as they help our bodies know we are safe and secure in out internal and external states of just being. For every sense, we can be under or over responsive to any of our 8 senses, and when we are, that often causes challenges to how we interact with the world around us. For example, we may avoid certain activities or be thrill-seeking in others!

Let’s break down our Foundational FOUR.


Helpful Reads & Links






July 8

Starting This Week!

The Summer of Connection 

program assists parents & caregivers in remembering to 

Play, Connect & Empower 

themselves over the summer! 

Each week receive a short video message on a timely topic to learn, practice, & implement at home to keep the summer days positive  relational focused, & Joy filled.

Sign up to receive your 

Summer of Connection

in your inbox starting 

July 6th for 10 weeks!




COVID19 RESPONSE

      I have made the decision that the Clinic will remain on Telehealth due to the recent holiday and increased activities that are keeping our community numbers of COVID19 on the rise per our County Dept. of Health. 

      Consistency and predictability are very important right now, attending Telehealth demonstrates commitment to services and treatment. If you are waiting for in-person sessions, it is my recommendation that you initiate Telehealth services NOW, as those on Telehealth will be the first to have in-office sessions. There is a high demand for services at this time and we are striving to meet the needs of the community. Please note, when you do return to office, you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors.

      We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.



Why Deep Breathing Can Be Helpful for Anxiety—According to Science.

Parents direct their children to do it. Teachers teach it in their classrooms. Therapists teach it during sessions and help you learn ways to incorporate it into your life. Chances are, someone has suggested deep breathing as a path towards relaxation at some point in your life. But why? As it turns out, there are lots of good reasons to employ deep breathing as a calming tool, according to science. One of the major reasons that deep breathing can be so effective is due to its effect on the autonomic nervous system. What exactly is that? Let’s discuss. Read the post here!


Helpful Reads & Links





June 23


The Summer of Connection 

program assists parents & caregivers in remembering to 

Play, Connect & Empower 

themselves over the summer! 

Each week receive a short video message on a timely topic to learn, practice, & implement at home to keep the summer days positive  relational focused, & Joy filled.

Sign up to receive your 

Summer of Connection

in your inbox starting 

July 6th! 



Olympia Therapy & COVID19

      We are getting questions about when we will have in office sessions. I'm making the decision to remain on Telehealth due to the recent holiday, protesting, and increased activities that are keeping our community numbers of COVID19 on the rise. It is not therapeutic to open up the office to then shut it down a month later. Consistency and predictability are very important right now. So we are going to move slowly. When you return to office you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors.       We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


When they all look alike: ADHD, Anxiety, & SPD

     As the parent of a complicated child you strive to understand the different labels your child is given and how professionals know the difference between those labels. It is a challenging task particularly when many professionals struggle to understand themselves, passing the confusion on to parents. You can hear from one professional, "oh it’s definitely ADHD, let's medicate," another says "he is just anxious, go to therapy," and yet another says "I'm not sure what we are looking at." It is beyond frustrating. As a professional and a parent, I can relate. With this article I’m hoping to provide some information that will help us to focus on the right path. Read the post here!


Helpful Reads & Links





June 17

Have you forgotten to PLAY!

Have you forgotten the power of play in relationships? I know as a parent when I am stressed out, I forget how valuable and uplifting playful interactions with the kids and adults in my life can be. We are all struggling from decision making fatigue and routines of boredom. This tends to lead us to aggravation and irritability. We do not have to remain on this path. We can learn to Play more! Our cortical levels are high when stressed. Cortisol is the stress hormone that in moderation is helpful, however with too much cortisol we increasingly will struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and anger/irritable outbursts. The one thing that can combat cortisol directly is “joy juice.” The "joy juice" cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones are released when we engage in new activities, play and connect with others.  This is where that shift in energy can help us all. Look for ways to increase novelty into your daily routine, for example: eat with different utensils like chopsticks, put your clothes on in the opposite order, brush your teeth with the opposite hand, look for images in the clouds for 2 min, look for creatures in nature, and go a different route then you normally do. These sound simple, give them a try and see if you don’t see the humor come out in doing something different. A good sign joy juice is present is laughter! A good way to counter stress and boredom in our current circumstances is to interact with each other differently, everyone is again stuck in routines and not interacting in ways to lift each other up! Have a nerf gun battle, paper ball battle, play hide and seek, leave a post it trail, speak in puns, sing your sentences, make animal noises, move your body like an animal, make a silly face! All of these actions engage the other in a different pattern which triggers the brain to release more joy juice then cortisol, thus decreasing stress!!! Play is a human’s first language and you never lose your ability to engage in play, you just have to remember to do it! Play is not frivolous, there are actual play circuits in your brain seeking to be used!  So You get your play on!

Olympia Therapy & COVID19

      We are getting questions about when we will have in office sessions. I'm making the decision to remain on Telehealth due to the recent holiday, protesting, and increased activities that are keeping our community numbers of COVID19 on the rise. It is not therapeutic to open up the office to then shut it down a month later. Consistency and predictability are very important right now. So we are going to move slowly. When you return to office you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors.

      We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication, as well as questions about billing.


Playful Wisdom Blog: Terrific Two's 

You’ll hear the term “terrible two’s” from family and friends, but really Two’s are misunderstood! Two’s can be exhausting. . . they are curious! They are more independent and aware of their own self (being separate from others). Two’s are beginning to socialize with other children and while they will sometimes just play near another child, they are beginning to engage in play such as chase. They want to know what adults are up to and will enjoy mimicking behavior of older children or adults in their life. Parents, be warned that little eyes and ears are watching your every move.     Learn more about Two Here from our Playful Wisdom Blog Terrific Two!


Helpful Reads & Links




June 10

Olympia Therapy & COVID19 Phase 2 We are continuing to do Telehealth primarily through June. We are monitoring the status of new COVID cases in our county, we will wait till active reported cases decreases in our area before fully opening up. We are unable to make a commitment to an opening date because of this.  It is our goal to keep the clinic a healthy place to work and receive quality care. When you return to office you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors. We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email.  If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk.


The Children are listening, watching, & absorbing EVERYTHING right now. Our children are listening, watching and absorbing EVERYTHING around them. Be mindful of their development and how they are intaking information. They do need to understand the world dynamics occurring right now. They also need to hear it at an age appropriate level.  We spent the last 80+ days talking about pandemic, COVID19, death, social distancing to our children because their lives got turned upside down. Now the world has erupted again, countering the very actions we have been drilling into our children to keep them safe. Now they see and hear the outrage of their parents, communities, and online lives calling for social justice and equality.  The world chose this moment to make history real and live for our children.  Like many parents, I have been having to explain social justice, inequality, racism, prejudice, discrimination, black lives matter, riots, and more to my 9 & 7 year old. I believe that if a child is old enough to ask the question they are old enough to receive an honest answer. This can not be more true than right now.  Be honest with your children and parent to their developmental age. Give them accurate and age appropriate definitions so that they may have understanding during this increasing chaotic time. Children need to see empathy, compassion, and love too. All of us are hurting, all of us are not OK, all of us are struggling, all of us are having strong emotions, all of us have had our Mental Health impacted over the last 6 months. 2020 will have quite a historical novel to tell one day. Remember, It's okay to not be okay. Our children need to see us struggle and also overcome to teach them the skill that is resilience. Right now, we must be open, listen to each other, feel free to express ourselves and our needs, to take self care, to learn, to be curious and flexible with our values, morals, and beliefs. Society is defined by those that create it and live it-daily. Do we have the courage to be vulnerable with our truth? Are we willing to go through the messy ugly parts to regain our humanity? Are we willing to raise our children with vulnerability, empathy, and compassion? Are we willing to be the preface for the next generation?  Are we willing to rewrite our stories? Will we take this opportunity? - Cary Hamilton Our most recent blog: We have choices to make. Actions to take. Resources here Feeling down, depressed and unmotivated? You could be experiencing a normal reaction to stress and trauma called hypoarousal. Learn more here.


Helpful Reads & Links



June 4

Olympia Therapy & COVID19 Phase 2 We are continuing to do Telehealth primarily through June. Your clinician will be able to discuss this process with you. It is our goal to keep the clinic a healthy place to work and receive quality care. To do this we are going to move slowly. When you return to office you will have to sign a new consent acknowledging current risk factors.       We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email.  If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk.

We have choices to make. Actions to take.

This week has been hard. We are 12 weeks into the stay-at-home-order. We are tired, we are restless, and we are longing for a “normal” summer break. We are longing for answers and a sense of what’s coming next. Not knowing our future is extremely challenging physically, psychologically, socially, and emotionally. This week has been hard, we did not know it could get harder. George Floyd’s death has made national and international news, thousands of people have taken to the streets across the country to express anger, frustration, and grief about police violence and injustice. The world is holding so much grief and anger right now. We have reached a tipping point in our society, and our children are watching... Resources & Full article here.


Helpful Reads & Links

COVID19 Phase 2 & 3 We are continuing to do Telehealth for now. As we move into phase 2 and 3, our office will slowly start to accommodate the highest need clients in office. Your clinician will be able to discuss this process with you. It is our goal to keep the clinic a healthy place to work and receive quality care. To do this we are going to move slowly. Telehealth will remain our primary mode of operating.       We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling & communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email.  If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk.

Decision making hard these days?

Yes, We are on decision overload. Choices! All choices have consequences, ones we like and ones we don’t.  However, not making a choice is a choice and often not the one we really want. After we have been managing stress now for weeks and recently even dropped down into hypo-arousal, our prefrontal cortex(the decision maker) is maxed out and inconsistent at best. Coming out of hypo-arousal means we are starting to move towards acceptance of our current situation yet, we are still tired. Making decisions seems an arduous task. We have TOO much information and are still functioning from a fear-based place. This makes decision making-challenging. Yet, we have to do it.  We have become risk averse, we want to avoid any situation that requires us to make more decisions. Unfortunately, life is full of decision making everyday. It is understanding the consequences of the choices we are making during this time that I want us to focus on. Even under these circumstances we can strive to develop our resiliency during this time.  Resilience is about making choices, making mistakes (or not liking the outcome), learning from it and making more productive choices for ourselves the next time.  Which means paying attention to and not letting the default “I’ll deal with it later, or I just can’t right now” dictate our future outcomes. Consequences are simply the result of our choice- negative & positive.  We make a choice when we stay up late, and/or watch screens before bed. The consequence is that we may have a poor night of sleep. Our choices in the moment do not get to dictate our lives. Our schedules and tasks that need to be accomplished do not go away because we made a choice that resulted in an uncomfortable consequence (like being exhausted).  Some of our choices feel like they have small consequences. If you choose not to wash the dishes after dinner, the consequence is you have to do it later. You are in control of both the choice and the consequence. However, if you choose not to complete an assignment or show up for a work meeting, you face a consequence from another person, and you may not know what it is until after the choice is made. Some of our choices no longer feel like choices, because they have been built into habits during this stress filled time. A habit is formed when we make the same choice repeatedly, in response to a stressor/trigger. This can be positive or negative-- if we choose to eat a healthy nutritious breakfast, we are setting our bodies up for more healthy choices throughout the day. If we choose to watch TV all day instead of moving our bodies, we are faced with the consequence of feeling sluggish, we move into hypo-arousal and we don’t want to do anything. We just want to keep doing nothing, even though we know the consequence. So let’s pay attention to the present and the decisions we make every hour to have the consequences we choose. In this case what is easy definitely isn't what is better for you(this is usually the case for most things). Being mindful or our decision making process will help us to become more resilient to stress, which isn’t going away anytime soon! As we move out of the hypo-aroused space, let’s strive to make decisions with the consequences we choose.  We can choose to make the habits that instill resilience in our daily functioning. We can take back some control.  Here is what we tell Children & Adults on how to manage negative feelings & stress: Read our MAY Blog Post to learn more.


Helpful Reads...

MAY 20

COVID19 Phase 2 & 3 We are continuing to do Telehealth for now. As we move into phase 2 and 3, our office will slowly start to accommodate the highest need clients in office. Your clinician will be able to discuss this process with you. It is our goal to keep the clinic a healthy place to work and receive quality care. To do this we are going to move slowly.       We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.   If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk.

We know you are done! Here are some ideas to keep you sane.

We’ve been doing this for weeks and it feels like it’s never ending. It is HARD to parent, work, teach, care give and still be a human. Regulation is the key. We are in the same storm, but none of us are in the same boat. Every family has a different story right now and lives with different circumstances. Some families are worried about how to manage their next zoom meeting without their kids screaming in the background, some are struggling to find safe and adequate daycare while they provide an essential service, and others are worried about how to pay the bills and put food on the table after losing their job. No matter what your situation is, COVID-19 has affected you and we are all unders stress. This includes our children. Even the youngest of kids, who may be unaware of the details of COVID-19, still has a felt sense of the stress and anxiety that adults are carrying around with them during this time. No matter if your struggle is with paying the bills, getting through your next zoom meeting, getting your kids to finish their distance learning plan for the day, or just being tired of the people you are surrounded by - take a deep breath and remember that regulation is the key. If you can stay grounded, it will help and encourage those around you to stay grounded too (especially our kids!). This is a marathon and not a race - but there will be a finish line and when we cross it, we will all be changed. So take a deep breath, relax your muscles, and keep moving forward.  For those who are managing school, they are giving out more assignments and students are falling behind. No one has the energy to show up or complete assignments right now and teachers are feeling the pressure to stay on top of things. As a reminder, your child will move on to the next grade level. The educational system won't fail your child for their performance during online school, they will all move forward. Only a few more weeks of school left! Your relationships are more important than the fight for schoolwork. Strive to not fall into the trap of parental shame occurring right now. Noone is living in your shoes, you do not need to defend yourself. Focus on self care for you and your family.  That being said, there are strong consequences of letting all routines/structure fall apart, so here are some things you can do instead:

  • Connect with your family: play a board/card game, plan a movie night, make your own pizza/sundae night, have a nerf battle, do a science experiment, draw with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, eat dinner with chopsticks or opposite utensils! Get the joy juice pumping and counter the stress, have fun together! 

  • Connect with friends: video calls, play a group game over video chat (ie., Skribbl is a free multiplayer drawing game), watch a movie over netflix party, plan a dinner party online, cook or bake together with a friend while video chatting, have someone you know teach you how to do something new (knitting?) over video or learn something new together by watching Youtube/”How to” videos together, virtual paint by numbers party.

  • Connect with yourself: write in a journal, meditate, make art, curl up with a good book, bake something, garden, color a mandala (https://www.free-mandalas.net), engage in sensory play.

  • Move your body: do yoga, play catch, see how fast you can run up a hill or around the backyard, have a race, practice cartwheels, make and run an obstacle course. Exercise helps to balance out our stress hormones (like cortisol), when stress gets too high it impacts our immune system. That means one of the best ways to keep our body safe from getting sick is to move our bodies regularly! The weather is getting warmer so it’s time to be creative to get outside to play!

Here is what we tell Children & Adults on how to manage negative feelings & stress: Read our MAY Blog Post to learn more.


May 9, 2020

MAY is:

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH We are continuing to do Telehealth until June. Please connect with your clinician and have appointments scheduled. If you are referring someone for our services please have them email the front desk at info@olympiatherapy.com. If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk because due to billing changes your providers will not know the answers to your questions. 

We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Feeling like Eeyore these days? We all are.

It has been over 50 days since the stay at home order was given. Our society has been running on adrenaline and cortisol for too long. Due to this, you may be experiencing the same as us, the tip over into hypoarousal. Hypoarousal is when the body begins to shut down psychologically, mentally, and physically. We have no energy to do anything, we have overall malaise and little to no motivation. Some may call it the “groundhog day effect,” in that we struggle to remember the day of the week, what we last ate, and our daily habits are unraveling around us even with our best intentions. You are not alone! Even the professionals are feeling it. This move to hypoarousal is a survival state. A way for our bodies to protect themselves from stress by shutting us down. It can make our days feel long, overwhelming, and irritating. Leaving us with feelings of depression. Depression is real and a reflection of our current emotional and physical state of being. Depression doesn’t have to get to clinical depression before it affects us. So many of us have been dealing with increased anxiety and worry for several weeks and now we have moved into this depressed blah state of being. Much like with anxiety, when depressed our goal is to move ourselves back into a regulated state- a functional state of being. So we need to move our bodies and engage our brains with baby steps towards health and function. Here is what we tell Children & Adults on how to fight those Eeyore feelings: Read our MAY Blog Post to learn more.




April 29, 2020

We are continuing to do Telehealth at this time. Please make sure you are connecting with your clinician and have appointments scheduled. We have opened up Telehealth appointments for new patients. If you are referring someone for our services please have them email the front desk to ensure we connect at info@olympiatherapy.com        If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk because due to billing changes your providers will not know the answers to your questions.        We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Emotional Hijacking of Our Behaviors

Children’s mental health matters. During this time you may be seeing changes in behaviors and attitudes that are “not your child,” You may be wondering what happened and what to do? Children experience life with their whole body as they learn to integrate their life experiences into learning and memories. As we have now settled into a semi routine during this pandemic, children and adults are still experiencing daily high stressors and small traumas. This over time impacts both parent and child mental health functioning. It is important to know what mental health looks like in children because it is portrayed behaviorally, not verbally like adults would. The behaviors that arise may be not only concerning to you, they may also elicit anger and worry from you, which escalates your reactivity towards your child. Your desire to want to control is high, resulting in a cycle of screaming, crying, meltdown, timeouts, and blowups for everyone involved. Grown ups--it is our responsibility to role model stress management and this includes attuning to your own mental health as well. Children use their mirror neurons to establish neuronal links in their brains which create the functional patterns of how to respond to situations based on what they have learned. This means that children’s brains are copying their parent’s brains to learn how to regulate and cope with stress. This is why co-regulation between a parent and child is so important. A parent cannot expect a favorable behavioral response from a child when they themselves are unable to demonstrate the very same behavioral response. Self care is SO important for parents for this reason... Read more on our April Blog Post 


Helpful Reads & Links

  • Did you know that breathing does really destress you, science says so!

  • Children will be protected if they are connected. From a School Psychologist!

  • Yes, we are repeating ourselves- SELF CARE MATTERS!

  • A great new podcast valuable during this time is Dr. Brenè Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us. You will find real world guidance and support on remaining true to our authentic selves and being connected with others during this crisis.

  • We are accepting referrals for new patients at this time for Telehealth.

Sensory Play!

Young children can dig in the dirt or sand moving the it from one side of thier body to another(think bucket or pile). Repeat to other side.

Older children can make Big Art.  Tape a square box to the floor.  Have the child stand in it in an create a full body movement image on a vertical surface(like a chalkboard). Encourage them to use both hands, big motions and twist their torso to get as far over as they can(think rainbows).

In General, get them moving like dancing, swinging, climbing, running, swim, bike play tennis, baseball, hopscotch, jumping rope, tug of war, and clapping games. All of these activities help to engage and integrate the body toward calm and regulation.

Thank You! Cary Hamilton


April 21, 2020

We are continuing to do Telehealth at this time. Please make sure you are connecting with your clinician and have appointments scheduled. We have opened up Telehealth appointments for new patients. If you are referring someone for our services please have them email the front desk to ensure we connect at info@olympiatherapy.com

       If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk because due to billing changes your providers will not know the answers to your questions. 

 We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Routines & Schedules Promote Security

One of the most challenging things about this "stay at home" order is the disruption of our daily life and schedules. We have often taken for granted how schedules and routines help us feel safe and secure because of the predictability and structure they give our daily lives. Many of use struggle and even joke about not knowing the day of the week, whether we have eaten lately, or know the time. We remove this structure for vacations, which are time limited, and we also do that by CHOICE!  We did not get to choose our current forced schedule change. The longer we remain functioning in this unknown, our bodies and brains will begin to feel disconnected, and this disconnection from self, time, and place creates biological panic for humans. Our natural "alert" systems start going off and we begin becoming agitated, irritable, make poor choices, become lethargic and indifferent. This arousal state is manageable if you can support yourself and family to follow a schedule or routine that mimics in some way what your mind and body were used to. Remembering to eat healthy, drink water, exercise, have quiet time, & play are things we keep repeating- because WE KNOW THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Adults can think logically about this change and choose behaviors more appropriate and suited for this shift in behavior. Children on the other hand cannot shift so easily. They need support and role modeling from the adults around them. In our sessions as of late, we have noticed increased anxiety, irritability, and general "whatever" -like attitude. So we created a visual schedule for you to use for the family or children in your home. You may say, "they know what to do" however, having guidance and a visual input allows for mimicking of a classroom setting "daily agenda's" children are used to seeing resulting in less power struggles between you and your child. You can see the samples below and we will post a PDF file for you to have as well. Visual schedules are guidelines to help create a sense of structure and routine throughout the day, which fosters healthy brain and body development. Self care at its best is done with consistency,so let's get everyone on the same page. This is just an example and we have provided you with alternate icons to cut and paste your preferred schedule. Of course you can get creative and make your own schedule or icons! Our goal is to provide support in the areas we see need.  Remember, schools are not grading work, they are monitoring work. A child in Elementary school should only be doing 45min of school-like work a day. For Middle school, it is 60min per week per class, and High school is 90min a week per class. The most important thing is for students to check-in on their google classrooms daily so teachers can take attendance for funding and show some work completed through the week. Remember, we are in a state of trauma, and children and parents are feeling the effects of this daily. Teachers are also experiencing anxiety that comes across from the load of work they giving to students. We can't fault them, they are responding to trauma as well! A child wisely said, "I think my teacher is stressed, and I'm not taking on that stress, I have enough of my own. I will do what I can do." To this we stated "Yes!" Your relationship with your child is more important than their education right now.  Do what you can do with the least amount of struggle. Having a schedule and routine will assist with decreasing stress & improving family relationships.

Helpful Reads & Links!

  • Let's get outside and ground ourselves, when you have antsy kids try this.

  • Learning happens in PLAY! An article from head of play at LEGO

  • Parenting a Teen during the COVID19 is very challenging, and knowing how it is impacting their mental health is very important. Read this article to learn more.

  • Please don't try and make pandemic stress the "new Normal," trauma is not normal! 

  • A great new podcast valuable during this time is Dr. Brenè Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us. You will find real world guidance and support on remaining true to our authentic selves and being connected with others during this crisis.

  • We are accepting referrals for new patients at this time for Telehealth.



Sensory Play!

Our biggest organ is our skin and it provides constant feedback to our brains to inform them of our bodies safe surroundings. Skin-to-skin contact is regulating as well as climbing into comfy close spaces. Have you noticed your children building forts from couch cushions or opting to be under the table? This is them meeting their need of close contact and safe surroundings. Hugglepods (see above) are helpful for children to have multiple senses met (tactile, vestibular, & proprioceptive). As tactile is a foundation sense, when it is on high alert or seeking safety, children will do anything to get this regulation need met! Think hugs, wrestling, climbing on you, demanding attention, hitting siblings, and climbing into places. Finding a way to make sure children have soft cozy (possibly enclosed) spaces to read a book, have quiet time, and play with toys will help them to regulate more regularly.       When a child is regulated, they behave developmentally on target, making parenting less challenging. If you are interested in learning more about this, I encourage you to visit our integrative parenting program Playful Wisdom. Here are the Links for Sensory Box Subscriptions.  Child Sensory Theraplay Box & Sensory Box: Regulate & Relax


APRIL 15, 2020

TeleMental Health For Now

A new week is here! Schools will be on distance learning for the rest of the school year. This likely spiked some anxiety for parents as now your stress may have increased. My family is in the same boat! My husband is a teacher so now he has to teach his students as well as keep a 4th and 1st grader on task! No matter the skill or training this is almost impossible. So I wanted to tell you all what I told him. If it is stressing your relationship with your child to do all a teacher is asking, DO NOT feel the pressure of doing it all. You will not be failing your child or hurting their academics. You are not a teacher, you are a PARENT. The GOAL is to have an intact thriving relationship at the end of the stressful time.         The most important task you have is to nurture your relationship with your child and to be connected with them during this time of uncertainty. When a family is stressed emotions become entangled with negative thoughts which often leads to regrettable actions. You can not fault yourself for reacting in the way your body was made to do when under distress. Your body will always take over, and your brain is then taken "offline," much to our chagrin.   “We are feeling beings that sometimes think” says Brenè Brown.        We have to recognize that our emotions are present for a reason! They assist us in keeping safe and allow us to love and be connected with those around us. We do not get to choose our emotions, we only have control over how we respond to them. There is a difference between reacting and responding, the key is that responding requires us to have clear thoughts. Thoughts come from our cortex or higher brain functioning. This part of our brain goes “offline” when our emotions are too intense. We are all more likely to have brains go “offline” due to the epidemic and added stress to our daily lives and future. We must remember this unique survival feature we humans have, and learn to slow down, calm our body, and think through decisions, problems, and emotions before opening our mouths or taking action. You will be much more content with the result if you learn to respond more and react less. This is all part of understanding your mental health is a part of your physical health, they are completely linked. While we focus on keeping ourselves physically healthy, we can fall into the trap or forgetting about our mental health. This epidemic is a trauma that we all will experience and share. Our collective and individual mental health will be impacted, you can not deny or escape this truth. While your depression and anxiety may not reach clinical levels, it certainly will impact your functioning and interpersonal relationships. Humans are meant to be connected and living in love and empathy. Addressing mental health for you and your family, now and in the future, is necessary to prevent unintended consequences for the things you love most in the future.          Parents, your "teacher" role, your goal should be to achieve: 30min of reading, 30min of math facts, writing in a journal-a question of the day, physical movement for 60min, 30 min of quiet time, and 30min of Playing with YOU! Allow for lots of free play and no more than 2hrs of free screen time daily. If you can manage this you will be doing great, here is a guide! Teachers are struggling too; so if you are getting mixed messages, work to not react and give them some time to figure things out. Make sure you reach out for assistance from schools for technology assistance, food, and other resources they have. You only need to contact your child's school to gain access to this information. You are not an educator or technology expert, you are there to support your student. If this role becomes a power struggle or emotionally tasking, take a break, make a plan tomorrow to get the minimum mentioned above done, lower your expectations for you and your student.  Your student is used to routines in school, helping them to establish this same feeling with only the tasks above in the plan will help immensely.  If you have a child with an IEP/504 plan, reach out to the special education teachers for applications, websites, and arrangements for their needs. You cannot do it all, however, there are resources available to possibly make things smoother.  Remember you are not an educator, you are a parent and this is your MAIN focus right now. Be connected!        We are continuing to do Telehealth at this time. Please make sure you are connecting with your clinician and have appointments scheduled. We will be opening up telehealth appointments for new patients this week. If you are referring someone for our services please have them email the front desk to ensure we connect at info@olympiatherapy.com         If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk because due to billing changes your providers will not know the answers to your questions.        We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Helpful Reads & Links!

  • Just one friend? Here is an article to help you and others to understand the true power of physical distance while staying socially connected. 

  • The Association for Play Therapy just released this announcement about the use of Play Therapy and PTSD benefits. 

  • A link to picture books to help explain the COVID19 epidemic in their terms from non-profits and organizations for children isolated at home. 

  • A great resource for parenting anxious children can be found on child mind.org.

  • A great new podcast valuable during this time is Dr. Brenè Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us. You will find real world guidance and support on remaining true to our authentic selves and being connected with others during this crisis.

Sensory Play!

 Our sense of smell "Olfactory"  can quickly reach the emotional centers of our brain and regulate our bodies in to calmer states. Smell is the fastest neuronal link in our brains to memories and emotions in our bodies. Just as adverse scents(like smoke) can fuel our anxiety, we can use calming scents to regulate us. Some of these may be used with intention to regulate all members in our homes. This can be done through candles, diffusers, and baking! These could include: lavender, vetiver, citrus, vanilla, jasmine, peppermint, chamomile, cinnamon, and many others. You choose! think of all the ways you can use scent around you? Putting on a favorite lotion, make coffee/tea, cinnamon bark and vanilla in a pot on the stove, making cookies, diffusing into the air, walking outside to smell nature, use a spray bottle of essential oil and water, take a bath with bath salts and many more. Even those allergic to certain scents can still benefit from those they are not allergic to. Be mindful of what is best for your family, and know that scent can calm us quickly. If you are looking for essential oils here are some we use: Doterra, Young Living, Revive.


Some of you still may be interested in these Sensory Box Subscriptions. 

Here are the Links! Child Sensory Theraplay Box & Sensory Box: Regulate & Relax


APRIL 8th 2020

TeleMental Health Ensures Your Health! With the extension of "shelter in place" and schools moving to distance learning for the rest of this school year, we will be continuing with TeleMental Health to ensure everyone's physical and mental health. We can not guarantee that everyone is using the same level of social distancing necessary to stop the spread of COVID19 and we work with vulnerable populations therefore, this will remain the main modality of mental health treatment for our clinic. Many of you have already engaged this service and others have been more unsure. We can acknowledge it is awkward and different at first, however it maintains your medical care and mental health in the safest form. We are asking current clients to connect with and use this modality for their ongoing treatment as we can not predict nor want to promise when our physical office will open again. We will be opening up appointments for new patients next week, to fill availabilities and meet the needs of our community. We cannot guarantee your traditional appointments will remain reserved for you with your provider. So, current clients please engage this modality for your mental wellness. This option ensures your mental health needs are being met for you and your family now and in the future. If you have questions about billing, please email the front desk because due to billing changes your providers will not know the answers to your questions.  We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Helpful Reads From Our Playful Wisdom Blog!

  • We could all use a reminder on what self care really looks like, although it may be hard to do, it is necessary for your survival at this time. Learn more here: The Truth About "Self Care." 

  • Finding ways to stay connected in a healthy and developmentally driven way with your child is imperative when stress in the home and life increases. Cary speaks to this connection here: Opening The Gateway To Connection

  • All parents and humans are struggling right now. Learning about the window of tolerance and self regulation are key to thriving, we speak to this here: What Does a Parent Do When They Don't Know What To Do?

  • Sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being, however in this time of stress, disrupted routines sleep is often the first thing we struggle with and for kids even more so! Find out more about sleep here: Bedtime Battles & Sleep Solutions

  • Doing crisis, trauma occurs at many levels learning skills to truly "be with" your child and other family members will help them to develop resiliency and thrive as we move forward. Here is how: "Being With" Your Child Develops Their Resiliency 

Sensory Play!

Adding Sensory Play to your daily activities fosters health brain-body connections that help to regulate our bodies when stressed. Engaging in these activities together, increases connection and often brings about laughter which is "joy juice" for relationships. Enjoying playful activities with sensory components can help to regulate our stressed minds & bodies. I am often asked where I get my fun sensory toys, so I became an affiliate to share my fun! If you are interested in these Sensory Box Subscriptions Here are the Links! Child Sensory Theraplay Box & Sensory Box: Regulate & Relax


APRIL 1, 2020

Using your TeleMental Health Option As guidelines for social distancing continue, we want to recommend you utilize Telehealth or Telemedicine. Many have asked what is Telehealth? By definition; Telehealth is the use of digital communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services. We use a Telehealth platform based in our electronic health record(EHR) called Simple Practice. Your medical records are already held on this platform that is HIPAA compliant and up-to-date in medical information storage and compliance. Through this platform we can video conference with you from your computer or mobile phone. It is completely confidential and encrypted for your safety. Although we know this can be awkward and different at first, we are using this modality to do our part to maintain social distancing and still uphold your medical care and mental health. If your child is too young for Telehealth appointments, this is a wonderful time for parents to be receiving Child Parent Relationship Skills, that everyone at Olympia Therapy is trained in.  At this time we are requesting you engage this modality for your mental wellness. This option ensures your mental health needs are being met for you and your family. If you are finding that stress is low and you are no longer in need of services, we request you let your provider know so that we can open up space for new clients in need of mental health services.  We ask you to please EMAIL our office at info@olympiatherapy.com for scheduling and communication as we can guarantee multiple people see email. We work to answer emails daily.

Stressing about school??

Many of you have reached out to get our thoughts on homeschooling during this pandemic.       I would like to explain our thoughts and beliefs on this topic (which may contradict ideas of educators, my husband is one!) as it is important for parents to understand how a child’s brain is functioning right now.        

A human's brain is not capable of learning or retaining anything learned when under a state of stress and distress. Notable neuroscientists in the field explain that if your brain is being flooded by stress hormones, it's capacity to work is solely that of survival. It is only when the stress is lifted that a brain can learn. What a child's brain learns during a crisis, it will not be remembered or stored in the memory for future use. What the child's brain (and adult brain) is seeking right now is connection. The more connected and loved a child feels during crisis the more protected it is from long lasting impacts of stress and trauma. In our last blog, we spoke to this time being "not normal," we don't want pandemics and stress to be "the normal."  What we do want, is for our children's brains to continue to grow and have the ABILITY to LEARN, when the crisis is over. This can only be done by encouraging the brain's resiliency now by fostering healthy loving connections during the stressful time.               If you are finding that doing the educational assignments put out by your child's teacher is creating power struggles and strife in your home- STOP! It is not worth it, you are a parent not an educator. Work to repair your relationship by reconnecting and doing fun engaging activities together. This repair is essential for healthy brain development. If your child enjoys the educational materials by all means have them work on it. When/If it is causing stress, emotional turmoil, and power struggles then it has become harmful for your child's brain and rupture is occurring in your parent-child relationship. This is unnecessary trauma during a traumatic event.             Currently, there is NO grading of any educational material put out by school districts in WA state. It is SOLELY for skill up keep. Your child should be reading some, doing some math facts, and learning age appropriate life skills. Skill Up Keep is the Goal! The key skills your child need are: emotion regulation, social connections, and strengthening relationships with grown ups. Have them learn new things around the home that are life skills like laundry, making beds, making lunch, and caring for pets. Life skills are often missed in the rush of daily life. Take this time to help them learn skills that will go beyond the classroom environment. Try activities that challenge your child’s problem solving skills and that you can do together: build a fort, finish a puzzle, make a ramp for toy cars, move from one side of the room to the other without touching the floor, create an obstacle course.  Formal education can wait!  A child can catch up in their education, they can't thrive without Connection & Relationship.

Sensory Play Idea

Ooblek (a non-newtonian fluid): 1.5 cups cornstarch 1 cup water 2 drops food coloring (mix in with water) Adding Sensory Play to your daily activities fosters health brain-body connections that help to regulate our bodies when stressed. Engaging in these activities together, increases connection and often brings about laughter which is "joy juice" for relationships. Above is Ooblek, which is a "non-Newtonian fluid" meaning; it can be in a different state (liquid or solid) depending on pressure/force it receives. Paying attention to our "state of being" is often how we need to be during crisis, paying attention to the pressure and the results on our state of mind & body.  We need to remember, we have control over how we respond to pressure and stress. Enjoying playful activities with sensory components can help to regulate our stressed minds & bodies. Try this one out today!



1534 Bishop RD SW

Tumwater, WA 98512

 

Call Us:                Fax Us:

360-357-2370       360-357-2374

 324 S Main St Suite B, Montesano, WA 98563

 

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